Root Road / Bio

What makes you come alive?  For Root Road, it is using their brand of fun, familiar and fresh original music to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Root Road presents their third studio album titled “Come Alive”.  This eight track album boasts the band’s tightest most mature work to date.  The collection of original songs embody lessons in love learned on their journey of spiritual awakening which the band experienced when leaving the comfort of their home town in northeastern Ohio to pursue music in Nashville TN.  “Come Alive” is produced by Grammy & Dove Award nominee Roger Ryan who helped the band to refine their signature musical mix of Christ inspired Pop/Rock & Soul.  

In 2008, brothers John, Anthony and Nathanael Gilkes moved from their native city of Lorain, Ohio to Murfreesboro Tennessee to grow their music ministry.  This transition although very exciting was also very difficult as the group had never lived away from home.  During this time, they began to learn tough lessons in love.  

The first couple years were spent trying to regroup and rebrand as they were in a totally new area essentially they were a minnow in the ocean of artists which is Nashville TN.  This process of starting over was a baptism by fire for the group as they experienced changes in their lineup and administrative support.  Facing this difficulty as a young group, the band considered the big question. Should we continue? If so, why and how? 

During this time, the band appeared to flat lining. By the direction of their pastor, the band went on a 40 day fast to realign themselves and pose the big question to God.  After their hiatus, the collective answer was a resounding YES!  During this time, songs begin to come to Nathanael the band's youngest member like a rushing flood who up until then had only assisted in penning a few songs for the band.  In these songs, ideas about ending friendships, struggling with sexual temptation, freedom from sin, overcoming difficulty in the face of adversity and new revelations about God's rejuvenating love were unearthed.  These themes were addressed in a very mature manner which contrasted from the groups previous material.

With all these new songs, the band needed to find a way to professionally produce them for the world to hear.  Ernie Gilkes Jr., the band's father and long time manager made the decision to bankroll the production costs for their album and encouraged the group to begin interviewing perspective producers for the project.  In comes Grammy & Dove award nominee Roger Ryan.  In their travels, the band had a unique opportunity to perform on the "Bobby Jones Presents" show on The Word Network where they encountered a divine appointment with Roger Ryan.  Upon hearing the band perform, Roger reached out to the group and expressed an interest in producing their next record.  This was the opportunity the band had been looking for.

Under Roger, the band was able to build their confidence as writers and performers and their signature sound was fine tuned.  Roger who previously worked with acts such as Take 6 and Cece Winans was able showcase the group's core competency their vocal harmonies.  Roger brought in an all-star team to help bring their new songs to life.  Folks like engineer Richie Biggs (The Civil Wars, Newsboys, Switchfoot), bassist Anton Nesbitt (Bebe & Cece Winans), guitarist Joshua Lutz (Natalie Cole, Danny Gokey), brass arranger Lloyd Barry (Toby Mac, Kirk Franklin) & drummer Steve Brewster (Michael W. Smith, Phil Keaggy, Jewel) lent their talents on the project.  

For Root Road, the journey of coming back to life has been a long and hard one.  However, the band believes all of these experiences have helped them be relatable to others who are facing hard times and they can confidently encourage others going through rough patches in life.  The spirit in "Come Alive" will raise the dead! Are you ready to come alive? 

General Info

Band Members
John Gilkes - Lead Vocals and Rhythm Guitar, Anthony Gilkes - Keys, Vocals, Electric Guitar, Nathanael Gilkes - Vocals, Harmonica, Accordian, Piano, Electric Gu
Artist Name
Root Road
Profile Page
Active Since
Pop / Rock / Soul

Contact Info

Murfreesboro, TN
Ernie Gilkes Jr.

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